“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” became a holiday classic thanks to the Vincente Minnelli movie-musical Meet Me In St. Louis, starring Judy Garland.
Irving Berlin perfectly articulated our collective hopes for a “white Christmas...where the tree tops glisten, and children listen, to hear sleigh bells in the snow.” Berlin’s classic 1954 film White Christmas came to Broadway as a stage musical for the first time in 2008, and brought with it that iconic tune.
The Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning musical Rent catapulted composer Jonathan Larson to superstardom. Sadly, Larson died in 1996, before getting to enjoy his success. (Ironically, he passed one month after Christmas.) The song "Christmas Bells" from the show is perhaps not the merriest of holiday tunes, but one of my favorites nonetheless.
Granted, this next song never found its way to Broadway, but it's still one of my favorite tunes, especially around Christmas time. Tony Award winner Brian Stokes Mitchell singing John Bucchino's "Grateful" reminds us all of what we should be thankful for this holiday season.
Meredith Wilson (The Music Man) penned the tune "It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" in the 1950s, and it found its way into the Off-Broadway production of Wilson's Here's Love. By the time the show made it to the Great White Way in 1965, the song was cut from the show, but became a holiday classic thanks to singers like Bing Crosby and Johnny Mathis.